Home » Speaker To WGA: Purpose Can Lead To Transformative Growth
Association News National

Speaker To WGA: Purpose Can Lead To Transformative Growth

WGA Katie Sandoe
Katie Sandoe

‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’

Katie Sandoe encourages grocery executives – or leaders in almost any industry, for that matter – to find their purpose. 

“Because when you can do that, you attract employees, you retain them and you can get more out of them,” she said. “We need people, we need them to stay, and we need them to be passionate about what they do.”

Sandoe, founder and principal of Pennsylvania-based Light Echo Co., is a speaker and educator, purpose and branding guru and self-described “champion of women and girls.”

Her remarks came Sunday during an address at the Kellogg’s-sponsored Women Grocers Association’s luncheon, which was part of NGA Show 2023 at Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas. The show, which runs through Tuesday, features a full lineup of educational sessions, networking opportunities and special events.

An organization of female leaders within the independent grocery sector, WGA operates under the National Grocers Association Foundation.

Sunday night, WGA held a reception sponsored by Nestle Purina. On Monday morning, the group presented its Woman of the Year Award with the theme of #Success Without Apology (check back at theshelbyreport.com for coverage). Rachel Melot of Wystle Gift Shop was the guest speaker.

Sandoe WGA

In her presentation Sunday, Sandoe asked attendees to think of a company that gives them a sense of belonging and adds meaning to their lives. While the responses varied – ranging from Wegmans and Anheuser-Busch to Spotify – the qualities those entities had in common went back to “purpose.”

“Marketing research tell us over and over again that people buy something based on how it makes them feel. They rationalize that decision based on logic and reason,” she said.

Conversely, citing an expression by author Simon Sinek, she also reminded the crowd of purpose. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Turning to data from several sources, she noted that for professionals led by purpose:

  • 73 percent are satisfied with their jobs
  • 30 percent are more likely to be high performers
  • 11 percent longer tenure
  • 50 percent more likely to grow into leadership positions
  • 47 percent more likely to promote their employer

Perhaps most notably, 85 percent of purpose-oriented companies showed growth, compared to 42 percent of non-purpose-led firms.

In other words, Sandoe noted, when an employee’s sense of purpose is high, they’re more positive about their jobs and organizations.

“So my hard commitment is that one of the key elements to attracting and retaining quality employees is being completely overlooked by organizations,” she said. “I don’t know how many more research studies we need to show it is a necessary part of the human experience to feel like you matter, that the place you work for eight to 10 to 12 or more hours a day – that work matters.”

Sandoe acknowledged that money also matters, and there’s not a magic bullet or one-size-fits-all approach to achieve purpose. Furthermore, there are differences between white-collar and blue-collar perspectives. 

However, she noted that leaders can help employees grow.

“And this isn’t just training them on specific skills, this is how to grow…and give them an opportunity to develop connections and strong relationships with each other.”

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap